Unprecedented Demand Yields Good Potato Season for Virginia

Published online: Jul 16, 2019 Articles
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Source: Augusta Free Press

Virginia is one of the top potato-producing states during the summer months, with an estimated value of production of nearly $17 million in 2018.

According to David Hickman of Dublin Farms in Horntown, Va., “Demand for Virginia red and yellow potatoes is unprecedented this year.” Virginia has benefited from positive growing conditions in contrast to less-than-favorable conditions in other areas. The state also experienced good potato-growing weather.

During the week of July 1, the Market News office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services began daily reporting on the 2019 Virginia potato crop. Fifty-pound sacks of round white potatoes started the season at $14.75 compared to $12.75 last year; 50-pound sacks of round red potatoes are as high as $23.75, more than double the 2018 price of $10.75. Yellow potatoes are as high as $23.75 compared to $17.75 last year. Harvest of russet potatoes is just getting underway. Virginia farmers grow white potatoes for both the fresh market and for potato chips.

Harvest started around June 20 in Northampton Co. By July 2, harvest was going strong in both Northampton and Accomack Counties on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. While farmers grow potatoes in other parts of the state, the Eastern Shore is by far the largest production area.